Pregnancy-related Deaths in Rural Rajasthan, India: Exploring Causes, Context, and Care-seeking Through Verbal Autopsy

Authors

  • Kirti Iyengar Action Research and Training for Health, 772 Fatehpura, Udaipur
  • Sharad D Iyengar Action Research and Training for Health, 772 Fatehpura, Udaipur
  • Virendra Suhalka Action Research and Training for Health, 772 Fatehpura, Udaipur
  • Kalpana Dashora Action Research and Training for Health, 772 Fatehpura, Udaipur

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v27i2.3370

Keywords:

Behaviour, Care-seeking, Maternal mortality, Pregnancy, Pregnancy complications, Rural health, Verbal autopsy, India

Abstract

In 2002-2003, all deaths (n=156) of women aged 15-49 years in a block of southern Rajasthan were inves­tigated to determine the cause of death and care-seeking behaviour. Family members of 156 (98%) of 160 deceased women were interviewed following the comprehensive listing of all deaths among women of reproductive age. Of the 156 deaths, 31 (20%) were pregnancy-related; 77% of these women died during the postpartum period, and 74% of the deaths occurred in the home. Direct and indirect obstetric causes were responsible for 58% and 29% of the deaths respectively; 12% were injury-related deaths. Medical care was sought for 65% of the women, and 29% were hospitalized. Family perception of not being able to af­ford treatment at distant hospitals was a major barrier to seeking care, and 60% of those who sought care had to borrow money for treatment. Lack of skilled attendance and immediate postpartum care were major factors contributing to deaths. Improved access to emergency obstetric care facilities in rural areas and steps to eliminate costs at public hospitals would be crucial to prevent pregnancy-related deaths.

Key words: Behaviour; Care-seeking; Maternal mortality; Pregnancy; Pregnancy complications; Rural health; Verbal autopsy; India

doi: 10.3329/jhpn.v27i2.3370

J Health Popul Nutr 2009 April;27(2):293-302

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Author Biography

Kirti Iyengar, Action Research and Training for Health, 772 Fatehpura, Udaipur

Dr. Kirti Iyengar
Action Research and Training for Health
772 Fatehpura
Udaipur 313004, Rajasthan, India
Email: arth@softhome.net
Fax: +91-294-2451033

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How to Cite

Iyengar, K., Iyengar, S. D., Suhalka, V., & Dashora, K. (2009). Pregnancy-related Deaths in Rural Rajasthan, India: Exploring Causes, Context, and Care-seeking Through Verbal Autopsy. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 27(2), 293–302. https://doi.org/10.3329/jhpn.v27i2.3370

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Original Papers